1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Trek 4300 Disc or GT Avalanche 2.0 Disc or ?

    I'm a beginner, looking for a decent entry level bike that I can upgrade as I see fit as my skill level improves over the next few years. I've been looking at Trek 4300 Disc and Avalanche 2.0 Disc which are about the same price - $500 in my area. Let me know what you guys think, I'm open to all suggestions.

  2. #2
    No good in rock gardens..
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    The GT has a fork with hydraulic damping according to the spec which will likely feel better than the apparently undamped RST on the Trek.

    It also has better shifters in the Alivio range, and a higher spec Deore rear derailleur.

    The other well specced bike in that $ range is the Giant Yukon.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  3. #3
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    How about the differences on the brakes/rims - are the Trek's or GT's better? Any opinions?

  4. #4
    Cheezy Rider
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    I'd skip the disk brakes and look a Trek 4500, much better fork and other components. V-brakes work great, although they don't look as cool as disks.

  5. #5
    No good in rock gardens..
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    Trek often specs the Bontrager labelled gear, which is simply their "in house" component line. This includes the rims. GT does the same with their stem, bars and posts - but the rims on the Avalanched 2.0 are simply a generic MTB rim. To be honest, you won't find huge differences in weight or performance on any entry level rim (or the whole bike for that matter) as competition at this level is very fierce and there is only so much that can be squeezed onto a bike for the $$.

    I have no experience with the Tektro discs on the GT. I know the Shimano cable discs work - not spectacular but they work as intended.

    My honest opinion is the GT also looks a lot better than the Trek, if that counts for anything.

    Ideally you should try and ride the bikes in your intended size to see which feels the best and fits the best off the shop floor.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

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